Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2012 Alicia M. Hendrix
Collaboration and communication between conventionally diverse fields can allow for deeper understanding and clearer analysis of the concepts within each. Two fields traditionally seen as dichotomous are those of art and science. Historically they approach problems in opposite ways. However, I would argue that they in fact investigate very similar questions, hoping to discover the ways that the world works. It makes sense, then, that historically these fields have sometimes been able to interact. Artists have engaged with science by creating work through scientific processes including crossbreeding flowers, genetically modifying organisms, and sequencing nucleotides. Others have referenced scientific ideas, like those of order or sustainability, through more traditional methods. My thesis project, Adenine Uracil Guanine, is a sculptural installation portraying the phylogenetic tree of all life in a three-dimensional form. Borrowing from the aesthetic of mobiles, the sculpture takes a recognizably itinerant form, referencing the fluidity and malleability of evolution. The structure’s white base, alluding to the sterility and cleanliness of a phylogenetic tree’s aim to diagrammatize change, is overlayed by a system of colored bands. These bands reference the nucleotide sequences upon which phylogenetic trees are based. By using an artistic lens to view the scientific process of evolution and its elucidation and representation, I hope to continue to encourage a dialogue between the two fields.
Hendrix, Alicia M., "Adenine Uracil Guanine: An Exploration of Certainty in Science" (2012). Scripps Senior Theses. 157.